An artichoke experiment

Recently, I bought some artichoke hearts. At least, that’s the best way I can describe them. Now, I know what to do with artichokes, or canned artichoke hearts (no, I don’t buy them, I just know what to do with them). But this version was new to me.

Artichokes, in a form I hadn't used before

Artichokes, like I had not used before

Normally, when I find myself in a position like this, the web helps. But, since I prefer recipes in Dutch, and in The Netherlands you buy artichoke hearts in a can, it proved to be a bigger challenge. Anyway, I found a recipe. With step-by-step instructions and pictures. Seemed good, so I gave it a go, preparing stewed artichoke hearts.

First step was to clean them. Unfortunately, the instructions on said website looked easier than it was. I did no know where to stop. I removed all the tougher leaves, but had the idea that wasn’t enough. So, with one I removed more, deciding halfway through that process that it might not have been the best idea. Or was it?

Artichokes, cleaned. But did I do enough or not?

Artichokes, cleaned. But did I do enough or not?

For the stew, I chopped some garlic cloves, a bit of yellow bell pepper, skinned a few tomatoes and removed the hard kernel. In some olive oil I fried the garlic with bell pepper for a bit, then added the tomato, artichokes and a it of tomato puree from a pack. I also added a few chopped leaves of basil.

Everything in the pan, ready for some stewing

Everything in the pan, ready for some stewing

Then I let it stew for about half an hour, and served it with potatoes and steak. The end result was reasonable, I thought, although I left too much leaves on it. Maybe I produce something better next time.

The end result: too much leaves in it

The end result, too much leaves in it

The poems have moved!

You may have noticed that the poet in me hijacked this blog since the beginning of this year. Today, I’m putting an end to that hostage situation. You may have noticed that I started a project to deliver a poem each day. I like the project so much – and have some ideas on making it a bit bigger, but more on that later – that I thought it wise to move it to a separate space. So, from tomorrow on, you can find a poem each day on the new site: A Poem Each Day.

A lost doughnut

There it lies, on the street,
in the snow and mush.
Only a few bites taken,
and then control lost,
a fresh doughnut, dropped.

The frosting still looks great,
bright-coloured, sprinkled, shiny.
But the dough is soaking up
the snow melting from
salt and chemicals.

Forever lost,
a new one bought,
and enjoyed with
better care.

Happy V-Day, love

A martyr celebrated, at least that’s the story,
by lovers all around the world today.
He probably never expected that his glory,
would be a reason for people to say
“I love you”, or something similar to that.
And today I join the masses in this rite,
and tell you that I love you, let it be said,
every hour of every day and every night.

Tomorrow I will do it again, and many more
days to come. Because a Saint long gone
might be a good reason, to many of us, for
saying I love you; but that should be done
for one reason, the one that really should count:
that I love you; today, tomorrow, all year round.

It’s Monday again

It’s Monday again.
The day that is
the focus of many
laments.

The week starts today,
back to school or work,
the weekend as passed,
time for fun over.

It’s Monday again,
and it’s actually sad
that so many of us
can’t wait for Friday.

Is Monday really so bad?
Or is it the choices
we made?

What if we chose different?

It’s Monday again!
Hurray.
Can’t wait to get back
to work or school.
Eager to learn, to do
what I love to do.

The snowflake

Whoa! I’m flying, suddenly.
Or rather, I’m floating
through the air.

I don’t know what happened,
or even remember anything
before this, but it’s great.

Trees, beaches, sunny places
far away. I can see the world,
while I gently move ever
closer to it.

It’s cold here, but that is
my natural habitat, warmth
will take me out of being.

And as my adventure comes
to an end, and I gently
touch down on the soft blanket
my siblings made,
I can only hope that no
human will step on me.

The pearls of unfinished verse

In a folder, hidden away
between many other bits,
there’s a collection of stubs.
Notes, phrases, verses;
orphaned lines and texts:
unfinished work.

But it’s not just abandoned words.
Inspiration, work in progress,
and lessons learned
from small failures.
A basis for better poetry,
I hope.

The annual confrontation with aging

Today is one of those days,
holding promise of the future, but
innately also being very much about
remembering and looking back;
today is one of those days
you get confronted with every year.

Now, after all these years, I know today
is one of those days that
never changes throughout life,
even if it yearly does. Today is my birthday.

Riga at my feet

Standing on a rooftop terrace,
I can see the city stretch out
at my feet.

All the iconic structures are there:
the tv tower, the zeppelin hangars,
Swedbank, Vansu bridge,
the churches.

The not so great looking ones,
are also there, of course.
And our house.

This city on the Daugava,
this city I call home now.
Not only have I moved into you,
you have become part of me.